I have a strange habit born from insecurity yet too much pride. My imagination plays out a very specific scenario and script. I have conversations with people, real or made up, in my mind that will ask me questions that compliment me because the answers I give always flatter me. I will give the smartest answers, the funniest quips, the most insightful and enlightened advice, I freely share my wisdom in the most kind and compassionate way and each character in my imagination is ever so appreciative.
There’s a major problem with all my wonderful, scripted responses, people in real life don’t know their lines! If I wasn’t sure I’m not the only person who feeds their ego with these loaded questions, I wouldn’t have shared this strange embarrassing habit of mine.
I find myself doing this ritual regularly, but I’ve trained myself to stop when I become aware of it. I feel like it’s counterproductive to my personal development now. It’s setting an unrealistic expectation of who I am and how I should interact with other people. It doesn’t help my confidence or self-esteem. It keeps me sheltered in a familiar place preventing me from learning the power of my own vulnerability.
I made a crucial shift in my inner dialogue. I choose questions to ask myself that challenge my intellect. Questions that help uncover who I am and self-reflect. Questions that I can’t un-ask, and questions I don’t know the answers to. There is courage in asking yourself those hard questions, and there is growth and change when you find the answers to those hard questions.
This shift changed the questions I ask other people (in real life) as well. When I became more inquisitive about myself it made me more curious about others. I don’t shy away from people who may ask me questions that will reveal my true self to them, and nobody is held hostage when we ask a question with no ammunition.